“No, No, No, God’s A Lot Taller!”: Motorhead Live at Starland Ballroom, March 9th, 2005

I knew it’d take a while for me to get to covering this show; I simply didn’t realize it’d take me more than two years since I wrote about my previous concert experience leading up to this point, which took place just four months prior. But in the case of this particular experience, there are a few moving parts here. I’ll get to that momentarily. But any time from here on in that I write about any of my experiences seeing Motorhead live, there will forever be a big hint of melancholy running through my mind, primarily because Lemmy’s gone. And this article will prove difficult for me to convey my thoughts, and you’ll eventually figure out why.

Let’s set the stage, shall we??

Not too long after I began hosting my college radio show, Ali, alumni volunteer host of Ali’s Little Corner of The World, which aired directly before my show on Thursday afternoons, informed me that her boyfriend was a singer in a New Jersey-based Metal band called Arctic Flame. Ali also is one of the two DJ’s who trained me, which means a lot to me even more than eighteen years later because I widely viewed her and the other guy who trained me to be THE two best DJ’s in the entire station at that time. If I’m not mistaken, she’d asked me if I wanted a copy of his band’s unreleased Jack Frost-produced demo to possibly play on my radio show, since we had that freedom at the time. I’d also invited her to see my band play within the next few weeks at Dock St aka the biggest shithole on that dump of an island.

A good week or two before the show, Ali let me know that her boyfriend would be at the show to pick her up, as I’d be driving her there, and because he apparently wanted to meet me. No, I have no pictures from that show, or I would’ve made a whole separate post on that alone. I just remember, if I’m not mistaken that we performed two shows, one that Saturday night, and another the next night. Ali was front and center; and as we said our goodbyes at the end or our set, she was talking with a man wearing glasses with thick, black hair. Dave Lowe has just shown up right before we wrapped up our set, so he missed everything. But the four of us, meaning Dave and Ali, myself and a former friend of mine who I’ll never mention because he doesn’t deserve to have his name spoken, went to get food at the now-defunct Mike’s Place on New Dorp Lane (it may be closed; but the Greek son of a bitch bought nearly every other diner on the Island since that time).

In short, we bonded very quickly over all things Metal and fake wrestling – and I mean to the point that Ali to this day tells her now-husband that he took her friend away from her!

Sorry Ali.

Not too long after this meeting, Dave called me up and invited me to go with him to see his band open up for Motorhead at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ. A week or two later, that aforementioned former friend of mine and I went to Dave’s job in the mall to buy tickets. It just took my friend telling Dave that “he’s ready to play the game!” for Dave to immediately take an envelope out of his pocket with a smirk on his face. If you watched fake wrestling at the time, then I don’t need to explain how those two understood each other with that statement, clever as it was…and mark-ish as it was.

Now that the history’s out of the way….

On the evening of March 9th, Dave picked me up at my house to head out to Starland Ballroom in Sayreville NJ, to see a PACKED bill. Arctic Flame were the openers to be followed by Zeke, Brand New Sin, Corrosion of Conformity and of course, Motorhead. This would be my first time in Sayreville since I lived there for 5 seconds when I was 14. This would in fact be my first time in this building under the Starland name because, the last time I was anywhere near that building, I was living just seconds away from it and it was a techno club called Hunka Bunka Ballroom.

Also with Dave was a 15-year-old kid named Derek, who happened to live on his block. This kid looked awfully familiar, when I suddenly remembered seeing him in one of the pictures from my first Vangaurd gig just over a month earlier. Quite a bit had changed since that show. The biggest change?

I was fired from the band two weeks prior to this show. Funny enough, while I was initially pissed off, I actually felt relieved afterwards. The band would regret their decision almost immediately, but that’s a story for another time, nothing major though.

Because Derek and I arrived with Dave, we were able to get in and actually watch Motorhead do their soundcheck.

Let me say that again so it registers…..

WE WATCHED PHIL CAMPBELL, MICKEY DEE, AND LEMMY FUCKING KILMISTER DO THEIR SOUNDCHECK.

My first memories of Starland Ballroom will always be Derek and I walking in to feeling the floors vibrate to the point that it felt like the earth was about to fucking split open. I couldn’t put my ear plugs in quick enough! The PA speakers were tied together, and there were all three guys tearing ass on stage. To be just a matter of feet away from Lemmy Kilmister was like being in front of God, Yahweh, Muhammed and Allah all in one speed-addled, facial wart infested, hot mess playing a Rickenbacker bass.

After destroying about 200% of my hearing (and me loving every moment of it!), Lemmy and Phil broke out acoustic guitars to rehearse what was supposed to be their encore. I’ll explain my wording later on. They played “Whorehouse Blues”, a track off Inferno, the album they were touring for at the time. After they finished that track Derek and I immediately applauded and rooted them on. “Thank you, thank you very much.”, Lemmy immediately replied. I couldn’t help but yell out “Lemmy, you’re a fucking GOD!”. His response?

“No, no, no, God’s a lot taller!”

I will always remember that to the day I finally get my wish and die.

Following that brief, yet life changing verbal exchange, Lemmy walked over to take pictures with the hot, fake-titted bimbo bartenders. Derek suggested we go over to him right now. I suggested that we wait at least a minute or two and let him finish with the bimbos, that way we don’t come off as fangirls. He then walked away. We assumed he’d be right back. The band couldn’t possibly be finished with soundcheck, right?? Well, within moments, the club started letting people in and I found myself feeling like a total dipshit as I apologized profusely to Derek.

And Derek, if you ever somehow come across this article and accompanying podcast, I’m STILL so fucking sorry!

As mentioned earlier, Arctic Flame would be the first band on. Dave seriously had a set of pipes on him. Their style was more Power Metal, which I’ve never really liked; but just shut the fuck up and listen to Dave’s opening wail on this track! The band received a very good response from the crowd overall.

Next up was Zeke, a Punk band from Seattle. I’m extremely selective with my Punk music, but Zeke were really fun. I was very impressed by the band’s ability to stop right in the middle of certain songs so their guitarist could break out pieces of the a cappella guitar solo to Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker”. You know the one. If not, you know nothing about music. Regardless, he was very selective of which songs he’d use to break out those fragments. And you either knew what he was doing – as I sure did! – or you were as fucking clueless as most of my high school graduating class. I would see the band’s bassist, Jeff Matz again. Only next time, it’d be with High on Fire in late 2007 in Webster Hall.

Up next were Southern Metal band Brand New Sin. I remember thinking that Corrosion were going on stage, until I saw Joe Alter hit the stage. I think Chuck, their bassist looked like Mike Dean. That’s probably why. After that, I remember absolutely nothing about the band’s set. That sucks because I actually like them. I would be able to see them again before year’s end at the same venue, where they’d be opening up for Black Label Society.

Next up were Corrosion of Conformity. The place was getting packed at this point. I had a good spot behind this younger kid with a leather jacket and sleeveless denim vest much like mine, although I simply didn’t wear mine on this night because it was cold as balls out that night. This would be my first of two times seeing Corrosion live. But there were two noticeable differences between both times I saw the band. On this night, Mike Dean looked a LOT cleaner cut, whereas when I saw him a decade later, he looked a lot more like Dr. Brown from the Back to the Future Trilogy. The other difference? The band were five years into a decade-long period where Reed Mullin wasn’t in the band.

I don’t remember too much about this set, except for the fact the Mike turned out to be an EXTRAORDINARY bassist, and that the band were on tour for their yet to be released album, In the Arms of God, meaning they’d be playing a few of those tracks on this night. They broke out the track “Paranoid Opioid”, which told me all I needed to know about this yet-to-be-released album. Funny thing is, when Pepper Keenan announced the title of the song, he introduced it by saying “This is off our new album that’s coming out next month, but y’all probably already downloaded it”. Most probably did. I actually bought it upon its release and wasn’t surprised one bit that it was just DRIPPING of Sabbath worship, which only started once Pepper joined the band in the early 90’s.

After Corrosion left the stage, more people started to push their way through to the center of the floor and beyond. It wasn’t too long of a wait, if I’m not mistaken. As the lights went out, the crown lost their fucking minds before any of the guys in Motorhead even stepped on stage. Lemmy walks out…

“Hello, we’re Motorhead. We play Rock ‘N’ Roll…” was the Johnny Cash-like intro he gave, as he cooly flicked a cigarette into the crowd. Mickey counts to four….

The whole fucking place EXPLODED. Megadeth four months ago had NOTHING on this. And that fucking docile kid that stood in front me? He woke up right the fuck on cue, his Mexican Jumping Bean like moves causing the back of his head to headbutt me right in the goddamn nose – the second time I was hit in the fucking nose! And just like at that last concert four months prior, I lost my spot, the crowd forcefully shoving my skinny ass out and back so they can all pay worship to Lemmy.

The Setlist:

  1. Doctor Rock
  2. Stay Clean
  3. Shoot You in the Back
  4. Love Me Like a Reptile
  5. Killers
  6. Metropolis
  7. Over the Top
  8. No Class
  9. I Got Mine
  10. In the Name of Tragedy
  11. Dancing on Your Grave
  12. R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
  13. Sacrifice
  14. Just ‘Cos You Got the Power
  15. Going to Brazil
  16. Killed by Death
  17. Iron Fist

Encore:

  1. Whorehouse Blues
  2. Ace of Spades

Lemmy’s thunderous Rickenbastard bass, plugged into a wall of old, beat-up Marshall heads, torn through the entire room as everyone acted the craziest I’d ever seen up to that point in my life. My first Crowbar experience comes very close, although unlike the at the Crowbar show, the crowd didn’t partake in one room sized fist fight.

Remember earlier when I said Motorhead were “supposed” to do an encore? It started off just as I’d said, with Lemmy and Phil breaking out acoustic guitars to play “Whorehouse Blues”. After that, they plugged back in and tore through “Ace of Spades”, the one song everyone had been waiting for. And the crowd sure didn’t disappoint, let me tell you. If you’re somehow new to Motorhead, the album of the same name is absolute required listening. Not up for debate. After “‘Spades”, they left the stage and we all assumed they’d be back in a minute for more. Instead, Lemmy walked out without his bass and told the sound guy that the show was over, that Mickey was apparently taking a huge shit. “No really that’s it, it’s over”, Lemmy said as the house lights gradually came back up. Everyone was let down, but I doubt anyone was too pissed off. They just saw fucking Motorhead.

Dave drove us all home afterwards, dropping off Derek first, I think, since he had school the next morning. Dave and I got sandwiches and ate in his car (Ali I swear that’s all we did!) and talked about our musical backgrounds and music, my desire to start a new band after being dismissed, and how this show light a fire under my ass. I’d go on to see Motorhead one more time after this, but that was more than three years away.

I need to thank Dave Lowe for his help in verifying key parts of this story, because I didn’t remember everything and this is THE hardest article I’ve written to date. These days Dave can currently be heard on the Warped Reality Podcast, available on Spotify. You can also click here to see all the shit he has on his Link Tree, including a 2007 live clip of Arctic Flame at the now-defunct B.B. King’s.

All Hail Riff God: Jerry Cantrell Live At The Music Box at Borgata, Atlantic City, NJ April 2nd, 2022

It had been nearly twelve years since I last saw Jerry Cantrell alongside Alice In Chains in Madison Square Garden. Before that I’d seen Alice months earlier at Terminal 5. THAT show was an absolute religious experience, as well as a dream come true. NO ONE ever imagined that Alice would ever get back together following the death of lead singer Layne Staley. It’s hard, even now, to describe how surreal their return was and still is.

But then there’s Jerry’s solo career. See, there’s a reason his solo career holds a major significance in my life: because if it weren’t for hearing “Cut You In” I would’ve never bought Boggy Depot. If I never bought Boggy Depot I would’ve never been floored by not just the intensity of his rhythm and lead guitar style, but especially his songwriting. And if it wasn’t for any of that, I would’ve never given Alice In Chains a chance.

In my formative years, while my friends in high school were busy sucking Cobain’s dick long after he blew his brains out, I was enamored in everything involving the one Seattle guitarist that was overshadowed by, yet far more talented than that bitch. You’re reading that correctly for anyone who’s new this blog:

Fuck Kurt Cobain and anybody that looks like him. Read that again so it sinks in.

Jerry, along with Zakk, Dimebag, Mustaine and Iommi, had a MAJOR impact on my guitar playing and he still does today. With Boggy Depot, I worshipped Jerry when people either were unaware of him or simply didn’t give a shit. To this day that’s a crime.

That’s why I was looking more forward to this than I was when I saw him twice with Alice. I was FAR more excited for this than I was to see Zakk a few months ago! This was bound to be special because we all knew he’d break out songs that we, his TRUE fans, never thought we’d hear again. And he sure didn’t fail to deliver, although there was something about this that had me wondering, which I’ll eventually get around to discussing.

The Music Box, the Borgata Casino venue in which Jerry played was significantly smaller than what I imagined. It was far more intimate, which meant I’d be able to go to the front of the stage, which I did. That’s when I found this:

Tell me that isn’t sexy.

You bet your ass I was tempted to at least touch that wah pedal, but I chose not to.

The opener was Lola Collette, who’s sound is decidedly…different…from what you’d expect from someone opening for someone like Jerry Cantrell. She’s very talented, don’t get me wrong. But she does sound like she would’ve fared better in the mid 90’s. I can only imagine that she got the gig thanks to her history with Tyler Bates, Jerry co-guitarist for this tour. She’s a multi-instrumentalist, playing bass, guitar and one hell of a piano. But let’s just say that, even with that big nose of hers she received equal parts applause for her music and cat calls.

Then he came on…

The Setlist:

Your Decision (Alice In Chains/Black Gives Way To Blue)

Between (Boggy Depot)

Brighten (Brighten)

Them Bones (Alice In Chains/Dirt)

Psychotic Break (Degradation Trip)

Cut You In (Boggy Depot)

My Song (Boggy Depot)

Siren Song (Brighten)

No Excuses (Alice In Chains/Jar Of Flies)

Black Gives Way To Blue (Alice In Chains/Black Gives Way To Blue)

Had To Know (Brighten)

Heaven Beside You (Alice In Chains/Alice In Chains)

Prism Of Doubt (Brighten)

Angel Eyes (Degradation Trip)

Would? (Alice In Chains/Dirt)

Encore

Atone (Brighten)

Man In The Box (Alice In Chains/Facelift)

Rooster (Alice In Chains/Dirt)

Goodbye (Elton John/Madman Across The Water)

The Pros

I was never a fan of The Dillinger Escape Plan; but being in Jerry’s band has certainly provided Greg Puciato a chance to show what he’s capable of doing outside of his former band. No diving off of balconies or off stages into the ocean here! He was a tad pitchy at times, but you could FEEL his passion and energy and I now understand why Dillinger drummer Gil Sharrone urged Jerry to reach out to Greg. Greg was given the lead for “Them Bones”, “Man In The Box” and “Rooster” and he did things that not even current Alice singer William DuVall can do.

Jerry took advantage of his expanded band, which included a lap steel guitarist and a piano player to not only perform several tracks off Brighten, but to also pull out rarely heard Alice tracks. I never thought I’d EVER hear “Heaven Beside You” live! I certainly didn’t expect Alice to ever perform “Black Gives Way To Blue” live, and I honestly wish he didn’t pull it out last week. As of 2019, “Black…” is one of two tracks that trigger memories of my now deceased brother, so it was the last thing I needed to hear in a crowd that big.

As you can see in the video, he sure had a funny way of singling out everyone who wasn’t standing. I imagine everyone just wanted to absorb this ULTRA RARE moment of seeing Jerry in a solo capacity again, but he just was not having it. Jerry himself was in top form. His voice was incredibly strong and his guitar playing was fucking God-like. Everything he did looked absolutely effortless. Everything. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A STEVE VAI LEVEL GUITARIST (No disrespect to Steve Vai!) TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE!!!!!!!!

The Cons

Notice how many Alice songs are on this setlist. This is an actual complaint a lot of people are making. I loved this show. I get that Jerry had a golden opportunity to pull out certain Alice songs and he took full advantage. But on the flipside, he had a HUGE opportunity to perform a deep dive of his solo albums – one of which is a double album (Degradation Trip)!!! – and he didn’t. I loved hearing “Psychotic Break” and “Angel Eyes” live. But it would’ve been a real treat to have heard “Hellbound”, “Spiderbite” or even “Pig”.

That’s just a minor complaint from me though. What matters more than anything else is that this was a very rare privilege. So, if you’re one of those YouTubers bitching that he allegedly didn’t sound good or he didn’t play enough of his own solo shit, just go get a fucking sex change already, you fucking cunts.

Random Thoughts

Fuck, where to begin here…

Being nearly 34 now (last month marked three years since I started this blog, by the way) and working with some real shitheads in a really fucked up part of Brooklyn, NY, I’m often bothered when I hear people say stupid shit like “Man, kids these days don’t know better”, “Kids these days don’t know what hard work is!”, “Kids these days are so dumb!”, blah blah blah.  Lets face it, EVERY fucking generation has said that about the generation succeeding them.  But in reality, I 100% blame the parents for the way I see some of these fuckfaces act.  I’d know – I’ve met parents who either have no clue how to control their own kids or they’ve no desire to because they still want to party like they did before that fateful night in which they got knocked up by that baby daddy who would disappear just days later.

Then, I hear about some shit as outlandish as THIS and I have to wonder if just maybe today’s youth really are that fucking stupid.

See the source image

The…Condom Snorting Challenge???

Yeah, you read that sub-title correctly.  Earlier this year, kids all over were eating Tide pods…I sadly had no real time to fully write about it, although I did make remarks regarding the situation on my Instagram and Facebook accounts.  So, I only found out about this shit yesterday, just as I was wondering it these idiots could somehow outdo themselves in the Retard Department.  Well, I guess they can, eh?  Just ask the retard in the picture above!

So according to CBS News, this actually started a few years ago for about five seconds and then was sadly just revived recently.  What is this “challenge” exactly?  You snort a whole condom up one nostril, inhaling it, and hoping it comes out of your mouth.  Has your ultra kinky wife/girlfriend ever tried anything this fucking stupid??  Exactly.  And teenagers are doing this.

As I write this now I’m reminded of Andrew Salvatore, an old friend I went to elementary and junior high school with.  I bumped into him at a Brendan Small (Metalocalypse) show at Starland Ballroom in 2009 after not seeing him for nearly five years.  He was now a paramedic in Tom’s River and he told me that the then-latest drug craze surely outdid any of his old “get high” attempts.  Kids were letting their own human waste ferment in the sun, wrapped in a balloon, and then inhale it inhale it in order to feel the effects of Jenkem, a hallucinogen created by the fermentation.  And what does this hallucinogen do exactly?  It allegedly allows these idiots to have “visions” unlike sniffing glue in which you hear voices.  I wonder if these “visions” are of random people who look just like me, telling them that they should go kill themselves?  Because that’s exactly what anyone INHALING THEIR OWN SHIT should do right now.  Yesterday.

Digressions aside though, there actually is a silver lining to this condom snorting shit, if you could believe that.  According to Dr. Robert Glatter in the earlier mention CBS report, “Even if you successfully complete the challenge and pull the condom out your mouth, the bottom line is that it’s incredibly irritating and a good chance it will wreak havoc on your sinuses, nasal passages, and upper airway”.  That’s right kids!  If you’re too stupid to remember that there are lubricants and chemicals in those rubbers you’re putting up your nose, you really do deserve every horrible burning sensation and all the damage that will be done your sinus cavities.  You also deserve nothing but the feelings of worthlessness for the rest of your lives.

nasim-najafi-aghdam-youtube-2018-4-4.jpg

The YouTube Shooting

Before I go any further with this I want to make clear that what happened yesterday was nothing to laugh about, obviously.  This could’ve happened to anyone, anywhere, and it’s a miracle this piece of shit’s victims are still alive.

Now that I got that out of the way, let’s take a brief look at Nasim Aghdam, the Iranian “Vegan Bodybuilder” (she hardly looked the part to begin with!) who drove ten hours just to shoot up the YouTube offices in San Bruno, CA with 9mm handgun:

 

Speaking of hallucinogens….if you watched this video ALL THE WAY TO THE END, then I really want to know what you’re on and if I could get some.  There’s no way anyone in their right mind could take that one video alone seriously.  I can see that YouTube decided to remove this shit just on the basis that it just RETARDED.  In some of her now deleted rants, this self righteous vegan psycho said that “I am being discriminated and filtered on YouTube. My new videos hardly get views”.

Ok and so the fuck what?  I only started posting workout videos on YouTube two years ago and they hardly get ANY views.  Fuck that, in the twelve years since I started my account I’ve only amassed a staggering 159 subscribers.  I guess I should get my old 20 gauge out, drive cross country and start firing away, right?  Hey, maybe if you didn’t release just stupidity you would’ve never accused YouTube of ruining your life – or maybe you could’ve gotten a real job.  Then again…who’d hire a militant jackass like you anyway?

But I’m going to repeat a statement I made on my Facebook account about jackasses like this.  She was a vegan?  Just for that she should’ve killed herself a long time ago – and I would’ve been more than happy to help her get the job done while eat a nice, juicy, rack of ribs – or even a filet mignon.  Go fuck yourself, and if Hell really does exist I hope you fucking rot.  Let this be a message to all of you: if you want to shoot things because social media is ruining your life, just maybe you should look in the mirror you fucking losers.  You can either then see that YOU ARE THE PROBLEM AND NEED TO CHANGE NOW….or just go ahead and kill yourselves, remaining a laughing stock even in death, like this stupid bitch.

The CBS Report On The Condom Shit:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/condom-snorting-challenge-experts-warn-dangerous-trend/

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and now Tumblr:

https://www.facebook.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

https://confessionsofanangrymetalhead.tumblr.com/

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

RPS Jersey Rumble May 20th, 2017

I gave myself a few higher expectation this time.  Yeah, it was only my second meet, but after a year of practically training for power and nothing else I decided the time had come for me to at least somewhat challenge myself.  Hell, in the year since my last meet my Squat had finally hit the 300’s and my Deadlift was just 15lbs away from hitting 400.  My Bench Press?  I really don’t want to even go there.  But I knew going into this meet that my shoulders were absolutely fucked, a result of carrying around a leather shoulder bag by the handle because the strap was broken and having a bunch of weight pulling on my joints.  To make matters just a bit worse, I was at a park with my students the day before this meet and one of them asked me to play catch with him.  Of course I couldn’t just tell him no.  The problem?  Throwing a football requires a tad more force – or power! – than a regular ball, especially if you want to throw a spiral.  So yeah, my throwing arm was now even more fucked.  Just great.  This fuckin’ kid is so lucky I like him.

So I arrived at the Ramada Plaza Hotel just a tad more focused…and even more anxious than last time!  See, I had planned my opening lifts maybe just a week in advance, not because I was procrastinating, but because I wanted to feel comfortable knowing I was going to least pull those off – especially with the squat.  If there’s one very important psychological tool I learned from Jim Wendler, it’s that you want to be able to just bang out your Squat opener.  If you do that you’re confidence will sky rocket, if not, your confidence as a whole might just do a nice, big nose dive.

I weighed in at 179.8lbs, which was fine since this was my first meet in the 181lb weight class along with the Raw Modern division (knee sleeves or wraps), managing to hit 180lbs not even a handful of times in the last few months alone.  Since we were as early as we were I had plenty of time to take since pictures, but not many because almost as soon as I walked into the ballroom I almost immediately ran into PJ Santa Teresa, who was competing in the 198lbs weight class and the Raw Classic division.  He also won first place last year.  I ran into Eric Chase a few minutes later and the three of us just got lost in all things Powerlifting for while, with me even educating PJ on the Doug Young won the 1977 IPF World Championships with three broken ribs.  In fact he might be the topic of my next post!  So anyway, because I got stuck talking to PJ and Eric for a while I found myself not taking too many pictures.  But I sure noticed some sick new trophies!

This shit right here is exactly why I’d kill to win just one trophy from this fed.  So fucking metal.  Seriously.

So I made sure that this time around all my lifts were filmed and you can see them all right here!

But for the actual story, I already knew in advance that I’d be going for a 330lb squat PR for my final lift so long as my first two attempts were successful, which they were.  Once again, C4 was my buddy because was nice and warmed up, and real fuckin’ jumpy.  So after hitting my first two attempts of 280lbs and 305lbs I’m starring at the monolift with full concentration.  Trying to channel Doug Young; what you can’t hear in the video above is that I’m so into shit now that I’m growling as if I was Doug himself…only his growl was WAY more terrifying!  You know what…I think I AM going to write about Doug next.  Anyway, I’m feeling stuck at the half way point, all it took was me screaming “UUUUPPP!!!” at the top of my lungs and I had all three green lights.  Quick fun fact:  Both of my second squat attempts from this year’s Rumble and last year’s only had two green lights.

My Bench Press attempts were where it all started to go to shit, making me feel like all my energy must’ve gone into squatting.  As I said earlier…my shoulders were in shit shape, so my opener and second attempt, both green lighted, were a measly 150 and 160.  After the second attempt I was in so much pain that I lower my third attempt from 180 to 170, fearing an injury over just not getting the lift.  Here’s where I think I should’ve used a wider grip width because my grip alone was not an issue, having finally fixed that issue not too long ago.  But either way, as soon as the bar hit my chest it wasn’t going back up.

I had a lot of time to kill before Deadlifts so I spent it eating salty snacks and drinking gatorade, taking in as much sodium as I could, since sodium retains water as well as helps to restore electrolytes.  I also took my other bottle of C4, ensuring I’d have the energy I’d need if I though I was going to pull 420lbs.  I made sure I was focused, even if the preworkout alone wasn’t hitting me like it did for squats.  So I opened with 355 and my second attempt was 385.  After I hit that number I somehow felt confident enough to request 420 as my final lift.  This would’ve brought my total into the low 900’s.  After about ten minutes my flight (or group) was called up for our final attempts.  Eric told me he was just going for 400lbs, which appalled me a bit because I know he had more in him…although I now wish I did the same.  Eric hit his number beautifully, and I was a few lifters behind.

It’s now my turn, standing behind the bar, ammonia cap under my nose for extra stimulation, mid chest length hair down like I’m Dan Green or some shit.  I’m nervous and excited at the same time as I take a deep breath and manage to just rip the fuckin’ bar right off the ground.  But at the halfway point I got stuck and couldn’t lock out.  At all.  It was so bad I even dropped the bar, which you’re not supposed to do.  I’m now FURIOUS.  Slamming down my Inzer Forever Belt, all I wanted to do was throw shit everywhere.  After taking two minutes to kind of calm down I asked my girlfriend to show me the video.  And there it was – my hips went up way too early.  I was fucked from the beginning!  Was I that nervous that I wasn’t focusing on my body movements?  Most likely.  So now my total was going to be 875.

After my flight PJ went on to deadlift 550lbs for his second attempt and it was fucking FLAWLESS.

That look on his face at the end gets me every time.  He tried to go for 600lbs after this; he was just about to lock out when he BLACKED out instead, falling face first in front of the judge’s feet.  Rising blood pressure is a bitch.  He still managed to win 3rd place, by the way.

I plan on going back to the gym next Sunday and I’m going to start using Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Boring But Big template, which is essential a Powerbuilding program.  I think it’s time for me to focus more on muscle mass for a bit, especially in regards to my chest and shoulders.  I’m also considering trying the Sumo Deadlift stance to reduce my range of motion and take some stress off my lower back and put it on my quads.

My stats for Jersey Rumble 2017:

Squat: 280, 305, 330 (PR) 3/3

Bench Press: 150, 160, failed with 170 2/3

Deadlift: 355, 385, failed with 420 2/3

Total: 875

Be sure to follow PJ and Eric on Instagram:

PJ Santa Teresa @pjironmind  Eric Chase @_echase

Make sure to follow me as well on both Facebook and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

 

IMG_20170520_112804955.jpg

                         Left to right: PJ Santa Teresa, Eric Chase, Angry Metalhead

Darkthrone Or Metallica: Which Training Are You? By Jim Wendler

Here’s my first blog of the year.  Haven’t been free to write sooner.  So if you follow me on Instagran @confessionsofanangrymetalhead you’ll most likely also see the hashtag #jimwendlerisgod underneath most of my lifting related posts.  Well, he is; and here’s one of many reasons why!

Underneath this is the link to a blog piece I just discovered on his website which pretty much sums of his training philosophy along with that of most real lifters using two very extremely different musical styles.  So click down below, read, enjoy, and ask yourself this: Are you real?  Or are you just a phony?

https://jimwendler.com/blogs/jimwendler-com/101066310-darkthrone-or-metallica-which-training-are-you

Quick Powerlifting Update

REvPS

I recently signed up for my second powerlifting competition, The RPS Jersey Rumble, happening on Saturday, May 20th at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Newark, NJ.  Unlike last year, where I competed in the 198lb weight class I’ll be in the 181lb class this time, since I dropped down to 172lbs since last May.  I’m still undecided on all my lifts.  I’m pretty sure I’m going for a 400lbs Deadlift.  I’ll either go for a 300lbs squat or I’ll go a bit higher.  My Bench Press?  QDisgraceful.  I might keep that real low.

I hope to start recording my meet prep soon.  It’s been so hard because while my new gym is surprisingly really good there are nights were it’s just so fucking overcrowded with college kids.  Fuck, I had to foam roll by the outside locker area just two nights ago because the entire designated stretching area was crowded.  A stretching area!  Oh yeah, since I last wrote in here I had to leave Sports Club because they increased my monthly payments without warning me.  Unacceptable.  I’m now at Blink Fitness, which surprising has five Hammer Strength power racks and Olympic bars with knurling so deep and juicy, as one of my Instagram followers put it, that it WILL rip up your shins during deadlifts and WILL rip the skin off your hands if your grip isn’t there.  I just wish it wasn’t so crowded at night!

Follow me on facebook and Instagram if you don’t already:

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

Random Thoughts

Gym Rants

If it wasn’t for the fact that I want to become a personal trainer and wasn’t contracted to New York Sports Club I’d most likely try to find another gym.  I don’t hate my gym but I’d really like to train somewhere that’s more geared toward my goals because let’s face it, a commercial gym doesn’t cater to Powerlifters or anyone strength training related.  Hell, there’s only one power rack for squatting and just one deadlift platform – I do admit it’s a miracle they even have on.  But sometimes it’s being used just as you’re about to use it and sometimes it’s for some real stupid shit.

On the night I was to Deadlift 315 for the first time ever back in February I found someone was occupying the platform doing a stupid Crossfit routine.  What was it?  Ten sets of twenty Clean-And-Jerks followed by “jump rope”.  Noticed the word jump rope was quoted?  That’s because there was no jump rope; instead this guy was jumping up and down looking like he was jerking off two dicks!

My most recent favorite, which I ranted about on my facebook page, was the guy doing Front Squats with a fucking BOSU ball.  First off, if he’s going to be wearing the wrong shoes – by which I mean sneakers – he better hope I’m not there when he tips over because I’m going to laugh so hard.  Also, if you’re front squatting with a BOSU ball you should return your man card and go make that appointment for your sex change now.  Hell, yesterday.

I finally ordered a 10mm Inzer Forever Belt in black on Saturday.  I hope to get it before my next deadlift day.

New Nails (??????)

So Nails cancels all their shows over the summer without any explanation and we hear nothing for two months…and then I was told a few days ago by one of my YouTube subscribers that it was announced the Nails and Full Of Hell are releasing a 7″ split???Don’t get me wrong, I’m fucking stoked about this – that’s going to be some nasty fucking shit!  But dude, what the fuck?  I wrote about how confused I am on facebook because we had no idea if the band were back or what and when I reposted it on my new Instagram account I received this funny little response from Closed Casket Activities, the label releasing the spilt:

funny

Funny guys.  Then I saw this today on Metal Injection:

NAILS To Play THE POWER OF THE RIFF Festival In December

If one thing’s for sure, they’re right about one thing: You Will Never Know What’s Going On.

You can subscribe to me on facebook if you haven’t yet:

Also, as I mentioned fleetingly a few paragraphs ago, I’m now on Instagram.  Be sure to follow me on there, I post shit daily on there.

https://www.instagram.com/confessionsofanangrymetalhead/

 

 

 

 

The Case For Abbreviated Training

The following is my first ever article for Bodybuilding.com, written today.  It was approved by the moderators not too long ago, hopefully it’s good enough to be published.  But you can read it here and judge for yourself:

I was first introduced to the idea of abbreviated training in 2009, when a trainer at my former gym told me about a book entitled Brawn. Originally released in 1991, it’s author, Stuart McRobert wrote in extensive detail about the important of shorter training in comparison to the routines found in magazines during the time of the book’s release. McRobert stressed that the average Joe couldn’t possibly get big or strong on a pro bodybuilder’s routine, but they could totally benefit by going back to the basics.

Let me clarify something first, the average Joe is not just a non-competitive bodybuilder. It’s someone like you and me, who works a day job five days out of the week and goes to home to multiple responsibilities. Some of you work more than one job, some of you have young children at home, and then there are other responsibilities that naturally hinder us from being able to just go to the gym and do multiple exercises in the course of four, five or even six days a week.

I can actually relate to this now more than ever as someone who recently competed in his first Powerlifting meet. I live in New Jersey but I work in Brooklyn, NY so it takes me a good hour an a half to get to and get home from work. Once I’m home I still have to prepare dinner, get ready for the next day, do things around the house, etc.

My current program, Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, calls for three or four day a week training; so what I decided to do was take the four day a week template and alternate it into a three day per week schedule in order to fit my daily needs as well as give myself time to recover from the previous workouts. That was a very important first step for me. The next thing I did for sake of shortening my training was reducing the amount of exercises I needed to do per training day.

This can especially benefit powerlifters. Are we training for looks come competition time or are we training to improve on the big three moves, Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift? If you chose the latter then keep reading! There are plenty of great powerlifting routines out there but if you’re like me and your trying to save time are you really going to waste your time training your secondary muscles? Sure, having thick lats can be beneficial, but are they what you’re using when you Deadlift? Fat chance! You need the power of those hamstrings and your glutes to help you bring that bar up. Same thing applies for Bench Presses. Once again referring to the lats, do they help you push the bar off your chest to the ceiling or do you need a thick chest along with strong triceps and shoulders to help you do the work?

So what’s the point of all of this? Because I’m strapped for time ten months out of the year I need to train in a way that’s practical and in order to do that I stripped my training of anything I found was unnecessary in helping to improve my functionality in the main lifts. In doing this I shortened my training dramatically and I still get results. Here’s an example of the way I currently train using just my working sets:

Day 1:
Overhead Press – 3 x 5/3/1
Barbell Curl – 3 x 10
Tricep Dips – 3 x 10

Day 2:
Deadlift – 3 x 5/3/1
Leg Curls – 3 x 10

Day 3:
Bench Press – 3 x 5/3/1
Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 x 10
Chest Dips – 3 x 10

Day 4:
Squats – 3 x 5/3/1
Leg Press – 3 x 10

Upon reading this you might notice that I split the assistance leg work to two different days. I chose to do that purposely based on which assistance work helps with certain lifts. If I’m squatting then I’d rather just stick with Leg Presses to help me build muscle in my quads, just as I’d rather do Leg Curls on Deadlift days to strengthen my hamstrings. Therefore I have two strictly upper body days and two strictly lower body days, all even arranged as to save time and give me more bang for my buck.

But this is just how I train, for the most part. It might be different for all of you. All I did was take a preset template and removed what I felt was wasting time, because time is money, of which I usually have none. So here’s something to think about in the future if you happen to fall in this category, because it’s amazing to see that the saying “less is more” actually fits here. So if you’re strapped for time and still want to train, get rid of the excuses and make a plan of action today!

Mike is an amateur powerlifter hoping to enter his second competition in the near future.

You can also check out the original article here if you want:

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=172409253

My Pilgrimage To Diamond Gym, July 29th, 2016

Yeah…I wrote Pilgrimage.  Why?  Because if you are a serious lifter of any kind, powerlifter, bodybuilder, whatever, and you happen to be anywhere in New Jersey, then it is your duty as the serious lifter you claim to be to go to Diamond Gym at least once.  For forty years now Diamond Gym has been one of THE most badass, hardcore gyms in the entire east coast.  When ex-bodybuilder John Kemper opened up the place it became the original “East Coast Mecca” long before Bev Francis opened up her first Gold’s Gym franchise.

I remember the first time I even heard of the place – and Adam from Black Metal Fitness, if you’re reading this, this is for you buddy! – it was on YouTube, where I discovered an old WWF interview with Mean Gene in this really badass looking dungeon gym, speaking with the owner’s wife, Shirley Kemper, about the types of people the gym attracted.  She then mentioned the British Bulldogs and next thing you knew there was the Dynamite Kid spotting Davey Boy Smith as he was benching four plates without a struggle.  Then Dynamite did the same…again, without a struggle.  Here’s the video, took me a while to find it:

It got me curious, real curious.  At the time I considered myself a gym historian of sorts, trying to learn all I could about the gyms of the past, such as R & J Health Studio in Brooklyn, NY, the breeding ground for Lou Ferrigno, and where my dad trained for fifteen years.  I also wanted to know if these gyms were still around and if so would the environment still be the same?  Well, when I found out Diamond Gym was still around I wanted to know more.  John Kemper retired and sold the gym in 2007, he sadly passed in 2012 at just 67 years old.  But apparently the gym’s current owner, Dwayne McDaniel had no problem keeping the gym’s hardcore vibe.  In fact, when you look at the place in videos it looks like nothing was touched.

So I finally made my way over there yesterday.  First off, god damn Maplewood, NJ is ghetto as fuck!  Secondly, it doesn’t even matter because once I entered the gym – which is right next to a gated community – it was all worth it.  Oh sure, a few walls might’ve had a fresh paintjob recently, and there are a hell of a lot more autographed  pictures on the walls of the bodybuilders that came from here.  But literally nothing else has changed, the equipment is exactly what I saw in that British Bulldogs promo from nineteen eighty-fucking-six, the barbell plates are so old that they probably haven’t even been in production in over thirty years, and the floors in the squat rack and leg press area are uneven.

IMG_20160729_151902577_HDR

See this?  It’s a Nautilus Multi Machine and there’s only one other gym I know that still has it because I used to train in that gym.  If you want to know more about this once fascinating “contraption” go on YouTube and just type in “Mike Mentzer Boyer Coe”.  Trust me here.

I’ll admit I was a little temped to leave if the idiot I heard through the speaker didn’t stop repeating “Ima keep it HOOD!” over and over again, but all in all the place was perfect!  Here’s my workout:

The shitty rap music in the place was so fucking loud that if I didn’t put a song over it I know I would’ve gotten at least five copyright claims because of the stupid algorithms on YouTube – I refuse to let DMX make money off my video.  Also, forget about conditioning.  I’m convinced that cardio isn’t in Diamond Gym’s vocabulary because I saw not one treadmill.  Now that is badass.  THAT is hardcore.

The gym just wreaks of all things tough as nails and I definitely will be back again.  If it wasn’t so far from me I’d leave my gym and sign up there yesterday.  Someone on yelp referred to it as “alpha and the omega” and he definitely hit the nail on the head there.  So to end this I’ll reiterate what said at the start of this.  If you call yourself a serious lifter and you live in Jersey, you need to go to Diamond Gym.

There are more pictures on my facebook page.  Just click here to get to them:

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/

Helix Nebula – The Last Lights Of A Dying Universe

For my second Underground Review I was approached by Prog Death band Helix Nebula of Riva Vaciamadrid, Spain about checking out there first full-length album, The Last Lights Of A Dying Universe.  They released a digital five track EP, The Beginning Of Time, back in 2013 and they recently played a show with Feel No Pain, whose four track demo I reviewed not too long ago.

I seriously think I’m going to edit my original post on looking for underground bands to mention that I really don’t want to be bothered if a band has an intro track.  Bands, it’s old, it’s been done a million times and all you’re doing is wasting valuable time that I can never get back.  Oh, and if your engineer or producer did it fire his dumb ass right away.  Time is money.  Just stop it!!!

Now to the music!  Upon hearing “God Is God?” I instantly think modern day Dream Theater, with the delay drenched alternate picking line.  And by the way no I’m not a fan of Dream Theater.  The band kicks in…Death Metal growling?  Ok, no problem, I am a Death Meal fan anyway.  Now it’s starting to sound like a cross between the band I mentioned and Opeth.  This song seems to go back a forth between the luscious clean parts that would make the knuckleheads in DT real proud, and Opeth during the heaviest moments on their landmark album, Blackwater Park.  Mike Vera is really good at doing a low rumble into a demonic scream.  I really don’t like how the song ends though, a little to anticlimactic, too soft, even with the quieter ending.

As the album progresses that sound remains very consistent, something lots of Progressive-bands have a major problem doing.  I think the only issue I’m starting to have now is that there are times where I feel that the growling isn’t necessary.  Sure, I did say I like it, but it just doesn’t fit everywhere, especially with the catchiness of some of the chorus’s I’m hearing.  I’m really liking some of the guitar solos, especially on “Night Angel”, where I think different vocal approaches could’ve definitely been used.  I definitely can envision screaming in the choruses to offset the growls during the versus, otherwise it just sounds stale.  One of the things I used to love about a band like Into Eternity is not only could Stu Block growl, he could scream even higher than fucking  Halford AND sing beautifully.

Paula Shultz’s guest vocals on “Dawn Of War” are absolutely breathtaking.  After that this becomes the fastest song on the album so far.  I’d honestly like for the band to do more of this in the future.  Nice guitar harmonies, reminds me of “Flash Of The Blade”, one of my favorite Iron Maiden tracks.  Although, like “God Is God?” it could’ve had a more badass ending.  I feel like it needed to have it.

An interlude?  Really guys?  Is this necessary??  No it’s not!  Another time killer that’s old and annoying.  I really think the last time I found interludes at least amusing was back in the mid-90’s, when I heard the intermission track on Tool’s classic AEnima (they’re totally dead to me after this album) and the intermission on The Offspring’s album Ixnay On The Hombre (yeah it’s punk but it’s album before they sold out COMPLETELY…and I was only thirteen at the time).  Point is, you bands need to knock it off with these fucking interludes – stop it!!!!

After a another minute was wasted “Son Of Antares” comes in with a great solid headbang tempo.  Around the three minute mark it cools off temporarily before the guitar solo.  I really think this was not necessary.  And this is usually my biggest problem with prog metal.  You all want to mix in all of these elements together in a single song and the problem is it doesn’t always make sense.

“Black Flames Of Chaos” had me throw up the horns right away.  Good job guys!  This is the most metal track on the entire album from start to finish.  But more important than that, it’s the most consistent from start to finish.

Uh oh, I think that clean guitar is a tad out of tune on the closing title track; not the best way to start out the beginning of the end.  On top of that, the segue into the heavier section feels very sloppy.  As someone who started out as drummer it was really hard to keep track of the beat there.  Thankfully, it shapes up more after that.  You’ll definitely be able to hear some really consistent thematic changes throughout this ten minute epic, all of which intertwine perfectly.  I would’ve loved the solos near the end to have a bit more attitude to them, not necessarily more notes, just more feel to them.  And once again the ending leaves way too much to be desired.

All in all this is a decent debut album from Helix Nebula.  I mentioned this in my review of Feel No Pain’s demo, but whether you’re making a debut album or demo, you really want to find a way to make it stand out and grab the listener by the fucking throat right at the start of track one – not track two after a pointless intro – track ONE.  They are all fantastic musicians but I totally recommend they focus much more on at least streamlining their songs.

Favorite Tracks: Night Angel, Dawn Of War, Black Flames Of Chaos

You can check out Helix Nebula on their bandcamp site by clicking here:

https://helixnebula.bandcamp.com/

 

New Videos And More News

So I’ve been pretty busy with recording songs and videos in the last week or so.  I’ve really been inspired in the music department, having uploaded two new songs in the last few days.  Here’s the one I just uploaded today:

Upon listening to it with the drums I mapped out as well as the distorted bass I put there, I find it to be a cross between early Bathory, speedwise, and a more modern Grindcore song around the breakdown section.  I just know my Ibanez Destroyer’s been taking a beating lately with all the things I’m doing.  Speaking of guitars I’ll most likely start recording covers sometime next week.

On the powerlifting front I just began the second cycle of my new 5/3/1 conditioning template.  Only now I’m training four times a week instead of three since I’m currently off from work for the summer – giving me plenty of time to get out all the extra anger my jackass students gave me this year!  I’m serious when I say they need to bring back corporal punishment because today’s kids are way too fucking grown for their own good.  Fuck the kids.  Anyway, here’s my latest Deadlift video.  The whole workout can be found in the description box of the video:

I figured out a great way to use my phone to film myself Deadlift and Overhead Pressing without using anyone’s help.  I just need to find a way to do it for Benching and Squatting.  Also, I’m not too far away from Diamond Gym in Maplewood, NJ, and I’d like to also make my way over there next week to get a workout in.  That place is just so fucking hardcore that I HAVE to go there.

More News

A quick reminder that I’ll be at Anaka’s show at the Black Bear Bar in Brooklyn this Saturday.  I’ll be making a video or two, as well as writing about it here so keep your eyes posted.  Also, I was approached by Helix Nebula, a band from just outside of Madrid, Spain, about reviewing their new album and I agreed to do it so I should be doing that in the next week as well.  Helix Nebula recently played a show with Feel No Pain, another band from Madrid, who’s demo I just reviewed; so I’m assumed that’s how they found me.

I’m now on facebook, so be sure to click here and like the page for more updates.

https://www.facebook.com/Confessions-Of-An-Angry-Metalhead-1237695776242081/